Prince Harry reunites with Sir Elton John to highlight fight against HIV
The pair are at an international Aids conference in Amsterdam
The Duke of Sussex and Sir Elton John have launched the billion-dollar MenStar Coalition, which is aimed at targeting HIV infections in men. Attending the Aids 2018 summit in Amsterdam on Tuesday, the good friends were reunited as they continued to highlight the fight against the HIV virus. The 33-year-old royal was also joined by young advocates from his charity Sentebale to discuss issues faced by teenagers who have the disease. Harry and Elton’s reunion comes two months after the legendary singer – who was a close friend of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana – performed for guests at Harry and Meghan’s wedding reception in Windsor.
For the past few years, Harry has been a committed HIV/Aids campaigner, raising awareness about the disease and even being publicly tested for the virus a number of times – once with superstar singer Rihanna in Barbados in 2016. Harry’s charity Sentebale focuses on supporting HIV positive young people in the African nations of Lesotho and Botswana. The organisation’s Let Youth Lead programme gives young people a public voice on the issue of AIDS and how if affects their lives.
Speaking at the conference, Prince Harry explained: “What we have learned is that we succeed when we put people at the heart of our strategies. This is a time when new, energetic and innovative solutions are needed more than ever before… and this campaign is bravely tackling the root cause of this problem – the lack of awareness of HIV prevention among hard to reach young men.” The project will begin in Africa next year, where men across the continent will be encouraged to self-test for HIV, in a bid to empower them to seek treatment if positive and help stop the spread of the virus.
Sir Elton, 71, added: “If we want to end Aids once and for all, we must make men part of the solution. It is time there was a global coalition to teach men to protect themselves, and in doing so it will teach them to better protect not only their wives and girlfriends, their sisters and daughters, but also critically their brothers and sons.” The singer also said recent research had shown that men aged 24-35 were tested and treated for the HIV virus at “unacceptably low” rates.
Source: HELLO MAGAZINE